The World Environment Week used to lead us to reflect on our future, our children and grandchildren. On humanity as a whole. Sharply, this reflection changed to the present in a very short period of time, that is, it is about now. And how to think about it without thinking about the health of our planet?
It is similarly impossible to think about these factors without reflecting on Amazon, the center of attention and where all eyes are increasingly turning. After all, thinking about the lives of almost 8 billion inhabitants on Earth involves the healthy maintenance of the largest tropical forest in the world.
And despite so many conscious mistakes made by a part of the society and governments around the world, and the price that this could charge everyone, a lot of positive things has been done as well, by another part of the society and eco-responsible governments. And it is about this part and positive mindset that we want to talk.
Instituto Juruá, an Amazonian NGO that recently received the Rolex Award for its work for life, has had a social, environmental and economic impact on more than 200 riverside communities living in the middle Juruá region, in the state of Amazonas. An initiative that has spread geometrically thanks to a collective effort, and above all thanks to the people who inhabit and protect the forest.
Just to share some figures, the largest freshwater scale fish in the world, the Arapaima (Pirarucu), which was almost extinct by unregulated fishing in the past, is currently the focus of the local community control and has already increased its populations by up to 55 times in the lakes protected at that region. That is in just few years. On the other hand, 83 times more migratory birds have flown freely in the region. And what about the increase of 58 times in turtle nests so far? Priceless.
Oasis of Environmental Efficiency.
The middle Juruá is a region of hard access, in the midst of many ancient trees, where it is possible to reach only by boat or airplane. Difficult access makes the area more protected from common threats in Amazon, such as deforestation. The strong social movement of the community has also consolidated conservation activities that protect a vast area of the forest. The fishing control of Pirarucu is one of these activities, and in the middle Juruá it is coordinated by the Association of Rural Producers of Carauari, and Instituto Juruá supports it with scientific research and training. The figures above are something tangible and visible. But there is the intangible part which is very meaningful as well.
And it is not just about protecting life in Amazon rainforest. It is about increasing the quality of life of the people who protect it, through the generation of income that the conservation of the forest provides. After all, when thinking about preserving the environment, the more knowledge the greater balance is generated. More outcomes are achieved and everyone wins.
And speaking on earnings, the communities of Juruá are able to invest their income from controlled Pirarucu fishing in education, transport and infrastructure in their own communities. It is that income that helps keeping them together, healthy and resilient to the challenges that the dense and huge Amazon forest always brings: time to fish, time to preserve. Cycles that take turns in favor of life.
For these and other actions that are repeated in the largest tropical forest on Earth, that Ecotok is motivated to focus on the positive side generated by local life, the freedom of birds, land and river animals, to the bio-economy glimpsed by eco-responsible entrepreneurs. In fact, many actions can still be done to protect the environment now, in the present. And since nature never fails, it will surely compensate it in a not distant future.
Pirarucu and fishermen: the fishing
control generates incomes to the
local communities and preservation
of life in Amazon.